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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

100                                MFE   OF
maim, who had edited Alexander von, Humboldt's
astronomico-geographic collections, from Paris; a.nd '
his dearest wish now, was to Induce his brother
Alexander to leave Paris, and honour the new uni-
versity of Berlin with his name. But William von
Humboldt was not to be present at the opening of the
university founded by him ; he was, on the 1-ith June,
1810, named extraordinary ambassador to the court to
Vienna. His successor in the .Department of Religion,
Nicolovius, continued the work in Hiunboldt/s spirit,
and the chancellor wrote to Alexander von Humboldt,
to Paris, to offer him the direction of the Section of
Public Instruction. But the great task which Alex-
ander von Humboldt had undertaken, and the labours
of his literary work,—perhaps also, a dislike to ollicial
life,—-induced him to decline the proffered honour.
William von Humboldt had gone to Viemia, whoro
he was joined in the autumn of 1810 by his wife, who
had till then remained in Borne.    Hero,  again, his
house became the centre of intellectual life; hero he
associated with Metternich and Gente, with the counts
Bemstorff and Stadion, with IT. Schickel, who was intlie
Austrian, service, with Anistein, Caroline Pichler, &a
But the following year brought, besides the youthful
Theodor Korner, and the equally young Varnlmgen
von Ense,  a welcome   guest  into   the  ambassador's
palace in the person of his brother Alexander., who
had left Paris after the publication of the first portion »s
of his American literary trophies, to take leave of his
family, as he had projected, and prepared for, another
great journey,—one to central Asia and, Thibet    The
minister Romanzow had proposed to him to accom-
pany a mission, across Kashglior, to Thibet, and Alex-
ander at once assented, as he purposed visiting the
celebrated mountains of India, and to study them in
comparison with the Cordilleras of the now world,
This great plan, which wan to be put in execution
in the commencement oftho year 1812, and which
was already a favourite plan of Humboldt's, mot with
a sudden obstacle in the war between Russia and